Tai - sabaki

Tai sabaki (体捌き) is a term from Japanese martial arts and which relates to 'whole body movement', or repositioning. It can be translated as body-management. It is a term used widely in kendo, jujutsu, aikido, judo, karate and ninjutsu. Tai sabaki is usually used to avoid an attack, such that the receiver of the attack ends up in an advantageous position and it is often wrongly referred to as evasion.

An example of tai sabaki is 'moving off the line' of attack using irimi and tenkan movements rather than to 'move against' the attack. This implies the use of harmony rather than physical strength.

Tai sabaki - wado

Tai- sabaki is the core of wado karate. It refers to body manipulation so as to move the defender as well as the attacker out of harm's way. Wado has many tai- sabaki techniques.


A perfect example i can show “Nagashi Tsuki”. Nagashi means foot work. Tsuki means punch. I trust this is a very effective tai sabaki tactic in wado karate. In this tactic we don’t want to block our opponent’s technique. Simply move out of the way of your opponent’s attack also finish up with an explosive punch. So what you want guys more than this to win a fight? But we should practise a lot. Comparing with other karate our nagashi tsuki(fig:2) is quite good. It has the real core of wado principle ”San-mi-Ittai”. Now let me explain about this.

San mi-ittai are three kinds of body shifting movement which typify Wado.

“Ten-i“ - to move the position" or move away from the attack.

“Ten-tai”- twisting and realigning the body to change the relationship of the body to the attack and further reduce the exposed target area.

“Ten-gi”- executing techniques while letting the attack pass through.

We should learn the “maai”(Distance) before tai-sabaki. This is very important for kumite(Sparring).


These three expressions describe three kinds of timing for attack and counterattack.

1.“Sensen no Sen” means to attack when the opponent's intent to attack is perceived, thus pre empting the opponent's attack and catching him/her off guard.

2. “Sen” means attacking simultaneously with the opponent as in nagashizuki. It implies that the 'defender' will be able to complete his attack first, and/or displace the opponent's attack.

3. “Go no Sen” means to respond to an attack with a counterattack or block/counterattack. However, the timing must be such as to strike immediately the opponent's attack is completed and before he is able to launch a further attack.

Bottom line – This is very precious stuff I've ever post. And also this is very important thing for all karate practitioners so realize and use sen to practice tai-sabaki. I wish you folks to hoard many medals in the near future.

Peace and harmony,

Sensei M.Maharaj.